On Saturday the Book Group met at my flat to discuss “Tinkers” by Paul Harding. This book won The Pulitzer Price. It had been my choice, (we all choose in turn). I must admit that I played very safe when I brought three books for them to choose from at the last meeting, all literary prize winners, I comforted myself that even if they did not like the story at least they were all well written. “Tinkers” by Paul Harding won the vote and we had a month to read it before the next meetin which was on Saturday night.
We had two new members which is always exciting, always nice to have new opinions. No one raved about the book which is about George, an elderly man dying, remembering his father Howard, an epileptic itinerant tinker and his life in general. Some times George is just remembering and at other times he is hallucinating, every thing tied up with nature, time and clocks. Most of the group appreciated the writing and word pictures of life in the backwoods of Maine in the early 19th century, (I might be wrong about the date). I loved the father, Howard, the itinerant tinker,son of a preacher who traveled through the woods not only selling his wares but also helping people in trouble. At heart he was a poet trying to make the best of his situation. His dying son George, I found more difficult to like. Probably because of his hard upbringing he was a much harder character,interested in getting on in the world and making money. The whole story was melancholic with bits of humour and poetic language mixed throughout. My main criticism of the book was that at times I could not tell which of the two men was speaking, the chapters dodged about from one to the other.
While the adults were discussing the serious subjects of “life and ‘death’, the small children were having a wonderful time in the adjoining bedroom turning it into a gym, bouncing and somersaulting on the double bed and playing “hide and seek’ in my wardrobes. Put everything into perspective!!!!
After the discussion we settled down to eating the cake and desert that I had made. As you all know I tried to make them so that the whole group including one who is on a wheat,dairy and sugar free diet could eat and enjoy. For those who who are interested, I made a raspberry and rhubarb crumble, the crumble made of ground almond, sunflower dairy free spread, a few porridge oats and sweetened by dates chopped really small, the fruit was sweetened by honey which she is allowed. I also made a chocolate olive oil cake, also using cocoa, ground almond, eggs and honey. I think that everyone enjoyed them but not without criticism. One member remarked that the beautiful pears that I used to decorate the chocolate cake looked like potatoes. So good marks for taste but not so good for presentation!!!!!
I forgot to say that the group marked the book at 6.5 out of 10. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Our next book to discuss is “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett. I will let you know how we get on in due course.